(Regular DHD readers know I don’t do geek. But frequent LA Weekly film reviewer and comic book expert Luke Y Thompson does. He spends all year waiting for Comic-Con and this time he’s covering it for me. Here’s his latest report.)
DC Comics’ Dan DiDio
As I write this, Comic-Con 2008 has just concluded. Before everything ended, I had to check in on a couple of panels with DC Comics president Dan DiDio. Would nit-picky fans rake him over the coals for not getting DC’s act together regarding their movie properties? (And yes, yes, I know: THE DARK KNIGHT was great. But where’s The Flash? Green Lantern? Martian Manhunter? Marvel’s even getting to third-tier guys like Ant-Man.)
But I reckoned without a few factors.
Factor #1: This has been a remarkably easygoing convention crowd this year. They’ll cheer anything.
Factor #2: DiDio, a loud-talkin’ New Yorker who looks like a construction worker and casually drops profanity, is very good at working the crowd and becoming their best friend.
Factor #3: Yes, comic fans are nit-pickers, but given the chance to talk to the head of DC, they ask nit-picky comic questions.
We did find out that there won’t be a Justice League movie any time soon, which is for the better. Having a movie with a different Batman and Superman than Christian Bale and Brandon Routh would be weird while their franchises are still going.
So here’s some actual comic-book news. At a comic convention. Had to happen eventually:
— Kevin Smith will be writing a three-issue Batman series featuring a villain he created in a previous title named Onomatopeia. A fan asks “Will we get more than one issue a year?” Yes, it seems two scripts are in hand already.
— J. Michael Stracynzski will be writing a crossover in which superheroes from some of the old Archie Comics titles will team with Batman.
— There is not now, nor will there be, a comic book adaptation of THE DARK KNIGHT movie. Reason? they wanted the movie to be big, and didn’t want “to give anyone the opportunity to say ‘I already read that.'”
— A fan asks if Dan will get in a steel cage and “kick the shit out of [Marvel’s] Joe Quesada.” Dan laughs.
— Several fans say they had stopped reading DC Comics but are back in the fold again, thanks to writers like Geoff Johns.
— The big event for the year is “Batman RIP,” written by fan-fave Grant Morrison, so it should be a bit more sophisticated than the Death of Superman. It concludes in November, but it will be followed by “Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader,” written by comic-book rock star Neil Gaiman. The title is an obvious allusion to “Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?”, Alan Moore’s imaginary tale of Superman’s last adventure, in which he gives up his powers, marries Lois, and they grow old together.
— A fan asks if The Maxx will ever be seen in the DC Universe. Dan doesn’t think so.
And then we were out of time.